Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo: Season preview

Two strengths

1. Offensive line. The Packers will play to their strength behind an experienced line of blockers. Four of six starters (counting the tight end) return from last season's unit that helped pave the way for Brynn Harvey to rush for a county-record 2,500 yards. Harvey is gone, but his replacements will benefit from the big bodies up front.

2. Defense. With Largo's skill players receiving most of the headlines last season, the defense flew under the radar, despite allowing 84 points in the regular season, including four shutouts. That will not be the case this year, especially with seven returning starters on defense. The best unit is at linebacker, where Largo has Mike Marry, Sean Holte and Justin Shaw.

Coach: Rick Rodriguez (10th season, 68-24) | Last season: 13-1 | Class: 5A, District 10 | Colors: Light gold and royal blue

A warning to those suffering from Largo Fatigue Syndrome: You could be in for another long season. Following a year in which the Packers went undefeated in the regular season and advanced to the Class 5A state semifinals, the team is back this fall with plenty of returning starters and appears more than capable of another strong run.

Two questions

1. Can the Packers replace its star power? Largo loses a lot with the graduation of its top passer (Leonard Johnson), top rusher (Harvey) and top receiver (Reggie McCray). But the Packers believe they can offset those losses. Ryan Eppes (Countryside) takes over at quarterback. Marcel Durham, Holte and Myrick Gwynn will share running duties. Mike Lang and Jason Wine are go-to guys at receiver.

2. Can Largo repeat its performance? The Packers have been the most dominant team in the county the past three years, going a combined 27-3 in the regular season during that span. Largo has the pieces in place for another run.

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Largo: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 6, 2008 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family


    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)
  2. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) pumps his fist to the crowd after Tampa Bay's 29-7 victory over Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Bucs play at Minnesota at 1 p.m. Sunday. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  5. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]